Building a deck is a great way to add extra room to your outdoor room, get a great place for your barbecuing or simply create a haven for a quiet place to relax with the family. But you don’t have to have a conventional wood deck. Even if it’s off the ground twelve inches or twelve feet, you can easily install beautiful stone decking underfoot for the ultimate in rustic deck design.
Whether you’re building a deck from scratch or removing an old wood deck and replacing it with stone, a strong and sturdy frame that slopes away from the home is essential to creating the correct understructure for supporting the weight of all that stone and other materials and providing the correct drainage. Check out my article on Deck Building Basics: Footings for details on creating a proper footing surface for supporting the weight of stone. How to Build a Deck Frame can help you to get a good start on the basics of framing for heavy decks.
Once the deck has been rough framed, typically a layer of 5/4 board is attached to the framing members. If you’re going to install stone, you’ll need to install ¾” Advantech plywood. This tongue and groove plywood is glued and screwed to each framing member. Once the plywood is down, a water proof membrane is then required.
Many different water proofing substances exist, but I prefer to use a dense-foam surface like Insofast or other ridged foam applications which allow for drainage and provide a backing for lathe and mortar/stone. Any interlocking foam provides a better waterproofing and cementious backing for stone decking.
Finish the stone deck by installing a fiberglass lathe and securing it to the decking substrate. With Insofast, a built in plastic stud can be used as a 16″ center deadwood for attaching the lathe, without penetrating the foams waterproofing seal.
Now mortar and stone can be applied to the decking in the usual fashion. A sealer can then be applied over the stone for a perfect deck that will last for years to come.